This Day in Minnesota History

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Today's Date: April 16

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1901

While in Seattle on business, St. Paul rail tycoon James J. Hill learns that Edward H. Harriman, in New York, is buying up shares of the Northern Pacific Railroad, trying to wrest control of the company from Hill. Hill orders all trains to give right of way to his express train and heads east for New York, making the 1,800-mile trip from Seattle to St. Paul in 45 hours and 50 minutes, 21 hours under the average time. From there Hill continues to New York and thwarts the deal. During the buying frenzy, Northern Pacific shares rise from under $100 to a peak of $1,000 on May 9.

1917

The Minnesota Commission of Public Safety is formed by the legislature to "protect life and property and to aid in the prosecution of the war." Seeking to achieve one hundred percent patriotism, the commission uses its sweeping powers to harass non-English-speaking immigrants and members of the Nonpartisan League.

1927

The Mesaba Railway Coach Company stops providing streetcar service between the towns of Hibbing and Gilbert.

1991

Marge Anderson becomes chief executive of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. Emphasizing traditional government, education, and cultural preservation, Anderson would be a leader in the successful nine-year battle to preserve rights granted by an 1837 treaty to hunt and fish in and around Mille Lacs (see March 24).